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Old 17th January 2008, 16:14   #1
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Default Query : Accessory Usages and Battery Consumption

Team,

I always had following query in my mind from long time, whenever I used to any see car with Heavy Music System ( Big capacity speaker and Amplifiers ), Xenon headlights ( high intensity headlight), and under body neons i always usedto think, How much battery it must be eating ? If somebody usages above mentioned accessories is he playing with his batteries life ?
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Old 17th January 2008, 16:28   #2
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Jitu-bhai, like exercising for humans, charging & discharging will not kill the battery. Normally it is the alternator which supplies the current, and not the battery.

And, like exercise without nutrition can debilitate a man, so with the battery. If those equipments are used with engine off, the battery is going to discharge completely. After that, dhakka start zindabad!

Batteries die for internal chemical reasons normally, not electrical.
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Old 17th January 2008, 16:41   #3
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thx Decalte for advice
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Old 17th January 2008, 16:44   #4
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Another question then Alternator will have problem with heavy Accessory usages ?
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Old 17th January 2008, 19:12   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicejits View Post
Another question then Alternator will have problem with heavy Accessory usages ?
Yes and no, depending on what electrical load the alternator has been designed to take.

* If the total electrical load exceeds - by let's say 20% - the normal delivery capacity of the alternator,
- the regulation will be poor and the output voltage will go down
- alternator will heat up more
- battery will take longer to charge, if it has discharged
- lights will dim, condenser and AC fan will run a bit slower
- a bit more fuel will be used by the engine to cater to the higher mechanical load of the alternator

* When the load exceeds by 50% or more
- all of the above, plus
- alternator will heat up much much more, reducing life of its insulation
- higher chances of insulation breakdown, which may cause alternator to burn out
- higher chances of fire because of overheating

The problem is more for ICE etc. since the output goes down if the line voltage goes down on overloading.

So, when one wants to put a lot of ICE load for SPL competitions, one changes the alternator to a more suitable one. For normal circumstances, even for powerful amplifiers like what LBM uses (forget neons, that's low load), an alternator change is not warranted. What may seem heavy to you, may not be actually heavy load.
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Old 17th January 2008, 19:28   #6
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Another question then Alternator will have problem with heavy Accessory usages ?
yes there will be a problem if the power needed by the accesories exceed the power that an alternator can supply then the adequate power can not be supplied to battery to recharge it hence ruining battery life. i am suffering from the same problem as a have an amplifier with subwoofer and also upgrade headlights with 100/90w , horns are also bigger. so whenever these three things are made to operate simultaneously there is problem. sound system turn of sometime due to inadequate power and battery life is aso reduced.
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Old 17th January 2008, 20:12   #7
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Default Answer: bigger and/or more

If you think you need more juice you may be able to buy a bigger alternator and you can certainly buy a more powerful battery or add a second or ...n... batteries. You can get really sophisticated from this point and add all sorts of stuff but it usually is not needed.
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Old 17th January 2008, 20:17   #8
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Originally Posted by harry2223 View Post
yes there will be a problem if the power needed by the accesories exceed the power that an alternator can supply then the adequate power can not be supplied to battery to recharge it hence ruining battery life. i am suffering from the same problem as a have an amplifier with subwoofer and also upgrade headlights with 100/90w , horns are also bigger. so whenever these three things are made to operate simultaneously there is problem. sound system turn of sometime due to inadequate power and battery life is aso reduced.
Harry-pra-ji, are you running the three with the engine off, by any chance? There is NO way that your battery can get drained (so much that the HU switches off) with this set of equipment, IF the engine is running and the alternator is OK. And the horn is used less than 1% of the time (except if you drive in Bangalore).

And NO, battery life does not reduce if you have a lot of charge-discharge cycles in the rated current range of the battery. 90AH does not mean you can discharge 5400A in one minute, or 1080A over 5min, without damaging the battery.

What really happens is that the alternator, which is giving a higher voltage for the battery to charge, is actually supplying ALL the current to the electrical accessories, IF the engine is running. When the engine is off, the battery takes over.

Now, if the alternator output voltage is LESS THAN OR EQUAL TO the battery voltage for whatever reason (even when the engine is running), the current is shared by the alternator and battery, and the battery does not charge.

So, get the alternator / regulator checked, there is something wrong there.

Last edited by DerAlte : 17th January 2008 at 20:22.
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Old 17th January 2008, 20:36   #9
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when audio is played at high volume and hard bass hits headlights get dim and this is not in my case but mosty it is seen in stock aternators of most cars . therefore to overcome this power drainage capacitors are used for audio system.
And my friend you are wrong at this point that charge and discharge cycle donot reduce battery life they actualy do reduce battery life as an alternator is not capable of recharging a battery to its full power . everytime battery is recharged power is slighty decreased. so this lead to the end of battery.
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Old 18th January 2008, 10:16   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry2223 View Post
when audio is played at high volume and hard bass hits headlights get dim and this is not in my case but mosty it is seen in stock aternators of most cars . therefore to overcome this power drainage capacitors are used for audio system.
And my friend you are wrong at this point that charge and discharge cycle donot reduce battery life they actualy do reduce battery life as an alternator is not capable of recharging a battery to its full power . everytime battery is recharged power is slighty decreased. so this lead to the end of battery.
Sir, please do read the posts in the ICE forum regarding why (or rather the futility) of using capacitors. Capacitors are not related at all to saving batteries. They only ensure that the amp does not suffer from momentary voltage dips, which MIGHT reduce amp power output.

Yes, you are right - capacity IS decreased on every charge / discharge cycle (chemical changes inside the battery) but that does not mean that one must not charge / discharge batteries. The end of a lead-acid battery comes over a period of 3-5 years (the battery in my Accent GTX had lasted 63 months), assuming that the charging and discharging rates, defined in the battery specs / manual, have not been exceeded. If those rates have been exceeded, phir to battery ka "ram naam satya hai" in months, not years.

Perhaps LBM-bhai can tell us how many batteries he has changed in the last 3 years of his use - and he is a known ULTIMATE heavy user.

Bhai-ji, by your logic I will be scared of using headlights and power windows also, fearing I will spoil the battery. Kyon darate ho, yaar!
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Old 18th January 2008, 10:48   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry2223 View Post
And my friend you are wrong at this point that charge and discharge cycle donot reduce battery life they actualy do reduce battery life as an alternator is not capable of recharging a battery to its full power . everytime battery is recharged power is slighty decreased. so this lead to the end of battery.
Harry-pra-ji , Our expert Delarte is totally correct. And also you at some point.

Chalo let me tell you what I have in my car as a load.

Two amps one is 80 x 4 rms and the other is 2400 x 1 rms. Which make a total load of 2720 watts rms which in turn to be 2720 x 2 as the AB class amps are 50 % efficent. which comes out to 5440 watts which means 453 amps. (watt= volts x amperes) I am considering 12 volts.

Ok other than that I am using 2 pair of xenons, Flashers, extra extra.

I think it is quite a load which a normal stock alternator can take. But here comes the most important question, What is the duration one play ones setup, 1 min 10 min 30 min or continuously since you start the car.

If one play the setup continuously the car electrical cannot work for a single day. So take that much which your car can give.
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Old 18th January 2008, 16:29   #12
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i agree with ur points friends but main point is that if you overload your car with electrical accesories it will affect charging system. take an example of a car with less battery usage having everything stock and take another car with loaded accesories and having stock battery and alternator , wont the second cars battery life be reduced. my stress is on the fact that heavily loading car with electrical accesories create problems for stock charging system. aint am correct??
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Old 18th January 2008, 18:09   #13
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Yes it will affect the battery life for sure. It also depends on the the alternator also. Like 800 has approx 40 amps alternator which is quite small. And cars like indica, swift have a more than 80 amps which quite compensate the charging.

I my experience of ICE the 800 is the one which is least suited for the same. And car with 80 amps alternator is must.
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Old 29th June 2009, 10:05   #14
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So my question on batteries is how long does it take for the battery to get fully charged? How long will a full charged battery last if the engine is off? I was into one of my marathon cleaning sessions that lasted over 3 hours and the engine was off and the audio system 6 speakers and one sub-woffer was on. Though the music continued, I was unable to crank the engine. Luckily there was space to push start the engine. About 10 minutes in idling and I was able to start it again. The car I drive is a 3 year old Indica DLG turbo that has run about 36,000 kms. OE battery. Any answers?
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